DA Celebrates WinBrowns Play Complete Game, Dominate Texans To Claim 5th Win In Last 6 Games

The crazy, unconventional overtime wins and losses on last second field goals are fun, but every once in a while it’s also nice to play a complete game and win one handily. That’s exactly what happened today, as the Browns took care of business and took care of the Houston Texans (5-6) by a final score of 27-17. The win moved the Browns to 7-4 on the season and, if just for one night, a half game behind Pittburgh in the AFC North standings.

I normally spend a fair amount of time in these recaps focusing on the negatives, looking for areas where the team needs to improve. And although I wouldn’t classify this one as flawless, it was certainly as close to that as any game has been thus far this season. DA was still pretty erratic at times, but he finished with a solid 24 of 35 effort for 253 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. K2 had another simply brilliant game, hauling in 10 catches for 107 yards and a TD. Braylon, despite a couple more drops (though they came on poor throws), had 4 catches for 57 yards, including his 11th TD grab of the season. Joe Jurevicius snagged 5 catches for 55 yards. Jamal Lewis was an absolute beast, carrying the ball 29 times for 134 yards and a TD. Phil Dawson knocked through 2 more field goals, moving himself past Jim Brown on the team’s all-time scoring list. The defense forced 3 turnovers, limited the Texans to 314 yards of offense, and kept them from having a 100 yard rusher. This was without a doubt the most well rounded, complete game the Browns have played all year.

Special mention in this game needs to go to 3 players: K2, Jamal Lewis, and rookie cornerback Brandon McDonald. K2 continues to be the heart and soul of the offense, and the most reliable spoke in the wheel. He continues to be an absolute freak of nature, and having watched him mature and develop, I couldn’t be more proud and I can honestly say at this point in time, there’s not another TE in the league I would rather have. Jamal Lewis gets special mention as he continues to get better as the season wears on. After coming back from injury to score 4 TDs in the Seattle game, and coinciding with Ryan Tucker’s move to right guard in the wake of Seth McKinney’s injury, Jamal Lewis has been solid in the past 3 games. Pittsburgh’s formidable rush defense limited Jamal, but he had some nice runs in the first half before the offense vanished in that game. After that, he put up an impressive game in Baltimore last week against that stout rush defense and today he tore up the Texans defense all day long, compiling big time yardage along the way. I said in my preview that I felt the Browns would try to control the game with their rushing attack, and that’s exactly what they went out and did. Finally, I would certainly be remiss not to mention the fabulous game put in by newcomer Brandon McDonald. I wondered in my preview if Andre Johnson would pose a matchup problem for the Browns, particularly with the Eric Wright injury. Well, not only was Johnson not a problem, he was barely noticeable as McDonald came in and shut him down all game, holding him to 3 catches for 37 yards. McDonald also made some key tackles, including on special teams, and he even came away with a key interception to help ice the game today.

All in all, this game was exactly what this franchise needed. If the season ended today, the Browns would be in the playoffs, as they now control their own destiny thanks to Cincy’s upset of Tennessee this afternoon. It was refreshing to show that they could come out and, for the most part, dominate a team they were supposed to beat at home. Sure, at times the offense was sputtering and struggling to establish an identity (especially in the first half), and sure the defense letting Houston drive right down the field for a TD in 8 plays and 80 yards, lasting just 2:36 to close the gap from 17 to 10 was disheartening, and sure Josh Cribbs was not much of a factor in this game, but in the end, they took care of business and got the job done. Looking ahead, the next 2 games are on the road in Arizona and against the Jets. If the Browns can find a way to win both these games, they will be well on their way to getting in the playoffs no matter what happens after that. Today is a good day to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns.